Thursday, April 17, 2014
Finally, on Day 8 of my 100 Days of Happiness Challenge, I get around to mentioning how happy having lost weight and getting healthy makes me each and every single day. Sometimes I forget all I have gained with this weight loss. While we were at Cancer Treatment Center (CTCA) earlier this week, I noticed the chairs everywhere were narrow and had arms. Occasionally there would be a couch, that's what I would have been seeking out to sit in before. Now I casually take a seat in the narrow chair and have room to spare. I noticed a large man walk into the doorway of the Scan Waiting Room, and walk back out. There was nothing in there but the narrow chairs. I felt sorry for him, because I have been there. Your legs, knees, hips and back are aching from walking, you are out of breath, and there is no place wide enough to rest your weary body.
So many times during our trip I thanked God for helping me find a way to shed the extra pounds: From easily walking the long concourses at O'Hare Airport, to being able to sleep all night in a strange hotel bed. Traveling used to be so painful, chiefly because at home I would spend at least half of every night in a recliner, due to my back hurting so badly when I spent the entire night in my bed. At hotels, recliners are rare. I would always be so happy when we'd walk into a hotel room, and there was a recliner. Usually they were not very comfortable recliners, however, not like my second bed/recliner at home. It's so nice to not have to worry about that anymore. I sleep fine anywhere.
Being normal-sized is HAPPINESS! #100HappyDays
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
On Day 6, we were at the Cancer Treatment Center (CTCA) and I took a picture in the cafeteria and posted it on Facebook, as part of my 100 Happy Days Challenge. They have a wonderful "Wholesome Bistro" as they call it, there, and they serve healthy, yet tasty food. Calorie content is listed for many of their items, and they have such a nice healthy variety to pick from. Not only that, but not only are the patients given a food allowance, so are their caregivers. We didn't pay one penny for the food we ate while we were there. As I said on Facebook, "Free Food always makes me happy!"
Day 7 - (TODAY) was the HAPPIEST day yet, and probably will be the happiest out of all 100 days. Du had his scans yesterday, and today at 9 a.m., we met with his doctor for the results. Dr. Pisick, Du's oncologist, walked in and casually stated, "The scans look good, unchanged from last time." I wonder if he knows how important those results are to us. The longer Du can keep the cancer at bay with these shots he gets monthly, the better. There are other treatments, when the shots lose their effectiveness, but as I told my son, moving on to other, harsher treatments, just means we are closer to the end. The longer we can go, using these shots for treatments, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Du experiences hot flashes, chills, and some muscle and bone soreness from the shots, but no nausea, nothing too severe. He has lost some body hair, but still has his thinning hair on top of his head. The doctor talked about some other things and when he walked out of the room, I grabbed a hold of Du's hand and said, "Is it okay to cry now?" I just broke down. I think it was a release of the stress from worry. He kissed my tears away, as he always does. He is so strong, he is my rock. I honestly don't know how I will make it without him. But today, I don't have to think about that.
Dr. Evan Pisick, CTCA Prostate Cancer Oncologist
We have SIX MORE NORMAL MONTHS now! We will go back to CTCA in October for scans, but until then, we can live as normally as possible with this cancer diagnosis hanging over our heads. I never thought, even two years ago, (pre-cancer) that being given six months of normalcy would make me so happy. When they told us at the beginning that the average life expectancy after a Stage 4 Prostate Cancer diagnosis is 4 1/2 years, I was distraught. I know how fast time goes, and I was aware of how fast those 4 1/2 years would fly by. I also knew it wouldn't be 4 1/2 GOOD years, I know that Duane will be sick, very sick, for some of this time. I also knew 4 1/2 years is JUST AN AVERAGE. We may get more time, we may get less. Our local urologist found it necessary to keep reminding us, at our last appointment, of how aggressive Du's cancer is (8 on a Gleason scale of 1-10), and that even though a couple of his patients have gone as long as a decade just getting these shots, it is unlikely that Du could go that long, since his cancer is so aggressive. So for today....SIX MONTHS is such a gift. Six more months of normal.
This is Du just after getting the GOOD NEWS!
We made it home from Chicago tonight, no flight delays for a change, and are enjoying a quiet evening at home with son Chris, dog Juno, and some KC Royal's baseball. Life is good!
Monday, April 14, 2014
I did post to FB last night, we hosted sons and their families for an early Easter dinner and Egg Hunt yesterday, and that kept me pretty busy all day long, so didn't get a blog posted here.
Here's what made me happy yesterday!
Chris (youngest son) made deviled eggs for our Easter dinner yesterday. I abhor them, can't even stand the smell, but everyone else loves them. I refuse to make them, so someone else has to do it, if they want them. I was happy that Chris was willing to help out, also happy he had two days off from work, and was able to join us in our holiday celebration for a change. As you can see, Juno was excited about the eggs, as well!
Today is Day 5 of my Happiness Challenge. I'm searching for some happiness especially hard today, as we are headed to the Cancer Treatment Center this evening for Du's 6-month scans, and treatment. As you can imagine, this is extremely stressful for both of us. If the scans show that the shots are no longer working to keep the cancer from progressing, we move on to other treatments, but it also means our time together is even more limited. So for today, I am happy about having the Cancer Treatment Center available to us, they are a comprehensive care facility, they take care of all aspects of their patients, their mental, as well as their physical well-being are equally important to them, and I am grateful we found them. I am also happy that they accept our insurance plan, and even pay for Duane's airfare to get there.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Du and I went out of town yesterday, to a bowling tournament, and didn't get home until almost dark. I did take time to snap a picture of the forsythia bushes that are starting to bloom in our front yard, because Spring makes me so very happy.
With my age and weight loss, I am so much colder than I used to be. Yesterday at the bowling center, even though it was 80+ degrees outside I had my heavy winter coat on all day. The bowlers were sweating, so of course they had their AC turned on inside the bowling center, which meant I was freezing. I am so ready for Winter to be over, although today it seems to have returned. It helps that I know THIS is only temporary. RIGHT? Right!!
I did get my picture posted to Facebook, but since I had promised I would blog here daily as well, I'm catching up this morning. Hopefully, this evening, after our family's early Easter Egg Hunt and dinner, I will have some more HAPPY pictures to post for Day 4 of my 100 Days of Happy Challenge.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Today I am pleased to bring you yet another picture of my adorable Bulldog, Juno.
She brings me such joy each and every day. She is loveable, energetic, sweet and cuddly. She thinks she is a lapdog even though she weighs 50 pounds. More than my own joy, I love to see the happiness she brings to my Du. He adores Juno, as much as I do, and after the devastating loss of our Lola last summer, has brought the light back into our house.
However, my joy for Juno was tempered somewhat last night when I discovered she had eaten the instructions for the afghan I am working on for my new Grandbaby. Although I tried to tape them together, I am still missing significant parts for the remaining letters I have to finish, T through Z. Du thought I could make something up, but I explained to him how UNcreative I am, and how I rely completely on instructions for my counted cross stitch projects.
I will try to muddle through--Wish me Luck!
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